Connor Southwell: The huge task that awaits Daniel Farke

Norwich Head Coach Daniel Farke during the Premier League match at Carrow Road, NorwichPicture by

Now Daniel Farke has the tools to assemble a Premier League squad, but will still be tasked with managing his group of players effectively.

Selection headaches are often a welcomed problem amongst most managers and some may argue that Daniel Farke didn't have enough of them two years ago. 

Stuart Webber later delivered a line that has been used to compare City's business in the transfer market this time. Few can say that Farke has been sent to war without a gun this time around. 

But more options can often lead to more rotation and less consistency as a coach figures out a formula that proves to be a success. On the flip side, it presents more tactical options and would allow Farke with a greater scope to adapt to any individual opponent. 

Underpinning it all will be the City's boss' ability to manage players and situations throughout the season. 

Dimitris Giannoulis of Norwich in action during the Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich
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Daniel Farke will have to manage his squad effectively, including left-back Dimitris Giannoulis. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Maintaining squad harmony

Competition within a squad of players is a positive thing. It pushes the standards higher and creates an intensity in training sessions. 

It will prevent any player, including Tim Krul, from thinking they are guaranteed a starting spot if their levels during the week don't warrant that. Those who do make the teamsheet on a Saturday will then be tasked with producing a performance that showcases why they should remain there. 

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Some situations will have to be handled delicately, especially the decision to replace Dimitris Giannoulis with Brandon Williams at left-back. The Greek international pledged his future to the Canaries in the hope of playing regular Premier League football. 

In order to maintain competition and keep standards high, it is up to Farke to manage that delicate decision whilst making the big decisions that benefit Norwich's survival prospects. 

Farke has already shown his capability to do just that after exposing both Lukas Rupp and Giannoulis to minutes during their Carabao Cup thrashing of Bournemouth after both were hiked off at half-time against Manchester City. 

Tim Krul of Norwich, Ben Gibson of Norwich, Grant Hanley of Norwich and Max Aarons of Norwich fail t

Ozan Kabak's signing will ensure Daniel Farke faces some big decisions over the look of his central defence. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Selection decisions

Balancing harmony within a squad that has been described as a 'special group' whilst not being afraid to make the big decisions at key points within games that may extract the extra points that City need to survive is the challenge that awaits Farke. 

Some of those made need to be ruthless. City's boss has proven he is capable of doing just that at different points of his time in Norfolk.

Farke faces one of those decisions this weekend; does he throw new additions Mathias Normann and Ozan Kabak into the heat of battle at the Emirates or does he err on the side of caution and look to integrate them slowly? 

After all, those players will have only had one or two sessions before the Canaries set off for the capital and Farke has, on the whole, been reluctant to throw new starters into the team immediately barring Giannoulis in January. 

Despite the defeat, his substitutions both in timing and personnel against Leicester were correct and did inject a fresh impetus into the fixture that would have seen Norwich secure a point had it not have been for the lines of VAR. 

Kabak's arrival is particularly pertinent to this point. Unless Farke does opt to go to a back three, which would see Norwich effectively lose a body during their attacking phases, then either one of Ben Gibson or Grant Hanley look set to miss out. 

Gibson is perhaps the obvious candidate given his major injury sustained at the back end of the season coupled with the fact the Turk played largely as a left-sided centre-back for Liverpool.

Hanley, on the other hand, failed to record a single minute in pre-season due to a combination of the Euros, an injury and contracting Covid. Despite those setbacks, the Scot hasn't looked out of place. With that in mind, it seems unlikely that he would miss out in the short term.

Teemu Pukki of Norwich takes a knock during the Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich
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Do Norwich City now have the options to ease the goalscoring burden on Teemu Pukki? - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Test of loyalty 

Farke has always been a coach who needs to feel the full trust of his players to carry out his philosophy on the pitch and implement the ideas of his coaching staff. 

Players who have failed to earn that don't tend to remain at the club long, just ask Nelson Oliveira or Ibrahim Amadou. But when it is present, those players often get a prolonged run in the side. 

Teemu Pukki is a player who has benefitted from Farke's faith. In every season since arriving at Carrow Road, he has been the top scorer. Irrespective of what happens from here, the Finn will be rightly remembered as one of the best goalscorers City have ever had. 

Two seasons ago, when Norwich needed to ease the goalscoring burden on him, they had a lack of options. Josip Drmic failed to make the impact most had hoped when he arrived in Norfolk and Adam Idah was still extremely raw. 

Those options are now present. Josh Sargent has made a bright first impression and Idah is two years older and bounces into the upcoming run of fixtures after two impressive performances for his country. Both are still very much in the development stage of their careers, however. 

Pukki is still Norwich's main man, his contribution to the club warrants that. There are still question marks about whether he fits into the 4-3-3 City are looking to operate with this season, especially without a natural number ten option. 

Idah and Sargent offer Farke with more physical options, albeit they perhaps lack the finishing quality of the Finn. Given the sheer amount of football Pukki has been exposed to for the last few seasons, both parties may benefit from more rest. 

Farke has been equipped with an arsenal of weapons that should provide him with a squad capable of mounting a real survival charge. Much has been made of the player's desire to prove critics wrong but that will also apply to City's boss.

The decisions he makes throughout the course of the season will have a major say in whether or not that becomes reality. 

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